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World shares advance despite losses on Wall Street

AP – Shares advanced in Europe and Asia yesterday despite mounting doubts over the United States (US) economic outlook that gave some benchmarks on Wall Street another day of losses.

Signs of progress in China’s effort to bring outbreaks of coronavirus under control appeared to be outweighing concern over weaker than expected US and Chinese economic data.

Investors also are watching for comments by Federal Reserve officials that might provide insight into the US economic outlook and future policy moves.

“Markets remain in fight or flight mode while rolling the dice on recession odds,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a report. He added that, “traders seem to be in the mood to stay bearish until proven otherwise. However, there is still a lingering risk- on tone despite horrific Chinese data”.

Germany’s DAX picked up 1.3 per cent to 14,144. and the CAC 40 in Paris gained 1.1 per cent to 6,419.08. Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.6 per cent to 7,506.09. The future for the S&P 500 jumped 0.9 per cent and the contract for the Dow industrials was 0.7 per cent higher.

Those gains followed a strong showing in Asia, where Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 3.2 per cent to 20,590.99.

People wearing face masks stand in front of a bank’s electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index. PHOTO: AP

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 climbed 0.4 per cent to 26,659.75. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.9 per cent to 2,620.44.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3 per cent to 7,115.50 while the Shanghai Composite index was 0.7 per cent higher, at 3,093.70.

Markets are trying to gauge how companies and consumers are dealing with higher prices and whether central banks can help ease the problem. On Wall Street, the major indexes have been slipping since early April.

On Monday, the S&P 500 fell 0.4 per cent to 4,008.01. It’s coming off of a six-week losing streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a gain, rising 0.1 per cent to 32,223.42.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 1.2 per cent to 11,662.79.

Technology stocks were among the biggest losers. Apple fell 1.1 per cent.

Big tech companies, with their pricey values, tend to push the broader market both up or down. The sector has been a particularly heavy weight as investors worry about high inflation and rising interest rates.

Spirit Airlines rose 13.5 per cent after JetBlue said it would make a hostile offer for the budget carrier after Spirit rebuffed its earlier bids.

Defense contractor ManTech jumped 15 per cent after investment firm Carlyle Group s aid it will buy the defence contractor.

The Federal Reserve is gradually pushing its benchmark short-term interest rate off its record low near zero, where it spent most of the pandemic.